Government Public Analyst Laboratories
The Government of Pakistan promulgated “The West Pakistan Pure Food Ordinance, 1960, with the Act for preventing the adulterated and misbranded Articles of Food and Drink as danger to health and as consumer fraud. In the constitution1973, food includes in the provincial domain. The title West Pakistan Pure Food Ordinance, 1960 was substituted by The Punjab Pure Food Ordinance, 1960 vide the Punjab Laws (Adaption Order 1974).
To achieve the objectives of the Pure Food Ordinance, the Government Public Analyst Laboratories were established that Public Analysts carry out a wide range of analysis, and provide expert advice on the interpretation of legislation and produce certificates of analysis which are submitted as evidence in legal cases. There are two Public Analyst laboratories one at Lahore and other at Multan.
Enforcement of Pure Food Ordinance in the province is by local authorities to the extent of their jurisdiction and have a duty to check the safety of food and to provide adequate protection of the consumer; principally their officers / officials exercise the powers delegated under the Ordinance.
However, the fast-growing imported food and health care products, the development of new, highly sophisticated food, and device technologies in the late 1990s greatly increased the complexity of the Health Department’s mission. To meet the new challenges, the Health Department has developed strong scientific ties with academia and the private sector and worked closely with other Departments to enhance public health standards within the province.
Preparation and processing of food products may modify their nutritional values and use of food additives may introduce direct or indirect toxicity, but the real hazards to the health are caused by the food adulteration.
For effective enforcement of the Pure Food Rules, Health Department upgrades the existing Public Analyst Laboratory Lahore to the state-of-the-art laboratory facilities to make sure the Public Analyst meets the needs of a modern analytical service. The actions taken in this regard include, inter alia, the following:
- Construction of Government Public Analyst Laboratory, Lahore at the cost of Rs. 76.420 million with following components:
Building Component Rs:38.900 million
Equipment Rs:37.520 million
Strengthening of its capacity in term of Human Resource by creating Technical posts.
- Establishment of Government Public Analyst Laboratory at Rawalpindi at a total cost of Rs. 126 million with following details:
Building Component Rs:71633 million
Equipment Rs:54.630 million
Creating essential Technical posts.
- Establishment of Government Public Analyst Laboratory at Faisalabad at a total cost of Rs. 85.556 million with following details:
Building Component Rs:38.866 million
Equipment Rs:43.490 million
Cost of Land Rs:03.200 million
Creating Technical posts.
- Analysis of food samples:
- according to prescribed standards
- for composition: many foods have legally defined, customary or expected compositions
- for additives: which must be legally permitted and within prescribed concentrations
- for contamination: chemical
- undeclared ingredients in prepared foods
- nutritional content of prepared meals
- to assess the accuracy of labeling
- In some cases the food fraudster can apply highly sophisticated techniques and make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the public to detect that food fraud has occurred.
- Provide expert scientific support to local authorities / enforcement bodies for enforcement of Pure Food Laws.
- Necessary training to the Food Inspectors for the enforcement of Pure Food Laws.
- Act as expert witness in prosecutions.
- Give the expert opinion / advice on the interpretation of Food legislation.
- Give the proposals with respect to the necessary amendments in the Pure Food Laws to make better provision for the supply of food; nature, substance or quality thereof demanded by the purchaser.
- Provide expert scientific support to private sector in various areas regarding preparation, processing of food products, packaging and labeling restrictions and requirements according to Pure Food Rules.
- Provide the enforcement sample data to national Food Surveillance system database.